Creating Peace in your Mind


Hello fellow travellers of the old ways.

I have previously mentioned that I started my journey into spirituality through Buddhism. I think the reason I initially looked at this was due to the meditation. I spent much of my early life and into my teens and beyond very much on my own, I liked the company of others but in all honesty prefered to be alone, so for me meditation was a great thing, it's a solitary practice, there are no time restraints and believe it or not it is really good for your inner well being.

I studied Buddhist meditation which had a lot to do with breathing techniques and learning to still your mind, the Buddhists call it monkey mind, by this they mean it is constantly on the go, Lord Buddha described it as like having your head filled with a lot of drunken monkeys throwing themselves around from tree to tree, branch to branch constantly on the move and chattering. If you have ever watched a Tarzan film or any jungle documentary you will always hear the monkeys in the background chattering. This is what Buddha likened our mind too, we live in a time where everything is go go go and we very rarely get time to just sit, relax and quieten our minds.

Try it, just sit down and try to think of nothing, it isn't easy, the world we live in makes us constantly worry or think no matter how hard we try not to. You sit down and Bang!! "what shall I cook for tea?", Bang!! "did I leave my car unlocked?", Bang!! "OMG did I leave my granddaughter at the park?" don't worry I didn't but these are the things that plague you every minute of your life, monkey mind. I lead a very busy life what with one thing and another so to take time out to meditate is what keeps me sane.

When and Where?

These is the most important things to look at, lets look at WHEN to start with, personally I like to meditate early in the morning, I know I won't be disturbed and lets be honest who doesn't love the sound of nature when the sun is coming up. I have said before this is just what I do, I know not everyone wants to get out of bed early, so don't, make this your time when you can have at least 30 minutes to yourself when you won't be disturbed. I prefer to meditate outside, I love being outdoors so this is a win win for me. This leads nicely on to the WHERE. I have said I like to meditate outside but again this doesn't suit everyone, a quiet room in the house would do just as nicely. The thing I always try to do is make sure I do it around the same times everyday.

The Practice

So now we will get down to how I do it, but please feel free to work however you want to, it's all to do with being relaxed and calm so what works for me may not work for everyone else.

I have a few different ways of meditating that I use and I will try to explain all of them. I do a breathing meditation, I also meditate with an object, and I have also recently started to practice Shamanic Journeying (a loose form of meditation as I see it but I will deal with this later on.) I also practice scrying.

Breathing Meditation

I always like to splash water over my hands and face before meditating just to give me a quick cleanse.

Find you chosen spot where you will be un-disturbed for at least 30 minutes, for me this is either my garden or when I am out in the woods, you cant always guarantee not being disturbed in the woods, but I have found if you are sitting quietly under a tree and someone walks passed they will more than likely walk on by, being british we try to avoid weird behaviour in others as much as possible. Sit quietly in a nice relaxed position, making sure you keep your back straight if you can, lower your head towards your chest and gently close your eyes, breathing normally, you will find the more you do this the more relaxed you become and your breathing and heart rate will slow accordingly.

I was always taught, once relaxed begin to concentrate on your breathing, and only your breathing, if thoughts pop into your head dont try to fight them just let them pass by for a few seconds then go back to your breathing. To concentrate on your breathing I was taught to breath in slowly for the count of 3, hold it for a count of 4 then slowly breath out for a count of 5, believe it or not the counting also helps to settle your mind and it gives you a focus point. I would suggest doing this for about 15 minutes to start with slowly building up the more you practice, some people set a timer, I prefer to stop when it feels right for me. When you get to this point don't jump up or open your eyes straight away, slowly start to count your breathing again gradually settling back into your body, becoming aware of your surroundings then slowly open your eyes, sit still for a while then slowly stand up, bearing in mind your legs may have gone to sleep I wouldn't want you to fall over, then have something to eat and drink. I, at this point, started to make notes of my meditation in my Bardic Journal, sensations, thoughts that may have popped into my head, noises anything no matter how irrelevant, it serves as a reminder to you how your practice progresses.

I use this meditation technique purely as a form of relaxation prior to or just after a ritual, or when I sit outside in the woods or my garden, the more you practice the more you will benefit from this. I have taken to going out of the office during my lunch hour, there is a lovely little wood about 3 minutes drive away and I sit out there and do this for about 20 minutes, not only does it refresh you for the afternoon, but it helps clear your head of any idiots you have had to deal with in the morning.

Meditating with an Object

This is a particlarly new technique to me, I started pracitising this during my Bardic journey as a Druid, the technique was described in the course material and I adapted it to suit me.

It is basically a meditation using anything you may find while out walking that will give you a focus point, something that you have found that interests you. I use a piece of stone that I found on a path when I visited Avebury Stones, it is only a small stone that fits nicely in my hand, when I first picked it up it resonated to me and felt good as I held it, although it was cold to the touch it gave me a warm feeling inside which it still does everytime I hold it.

For this technique you need to again sit somewhere quiet and in a comfortable position. I tend to start with my breathing medtation holding the object in my hand just to relax my mind and get my body in the meditation zone. When I feel relaxed and my breathing has slowed I begin to focus on the object with my mind, the good thing about meditation is it makes you use your other senses more, with my eyes closed I turn the object in my hand feeling it, seeing its shape in my mind, slowly building up a three dimensional image of it, then concentrate on its structure, how hard/soft it is, how hot/cold it feels in your hand, then go back further to where you found it, still holding it in your hand, then focus your mind on its origins, going back as far as you can to its first formation on this planet, how it would have arrived there all the time feeling its presence in your hand, when you have gone back as far as you can stay there for a while becoming one with the object. Slowly and steadily start to bring yourself back when you feel ready too. as with the breathing practice.

When you get to this point don't jump up or open your eyes straight away, slowly start to count your breathing, gradually settling back into your body, becoming aware of your surroundings then slowly open your eyes, sit still for a while then slowly stand up, then have something to eat and drink. I, again make notes of my meditation in my Journal, sensations, thoughts that may have popped into my head, noises anything no matter how irrelevant, it serves as a reminder to you how your practice progresses.

That's probably enough of me for the moment, I will continue this in later blogs but as a start try and practice these or your own techniques as much as possible.

Well as always I will end with another of my poems, this one I wrote after meditating one evening and it is called, Lady of the Grove.



I journey to my sacred grove

That sits deep within my mind

And there among my 13 trees

Is where peace I truly find

I sit protected by the trees

The dancing flames of fire

With silence all around

That I set upon the ground

And there I stare into the lights

As my eyes they slowly close

Soon to be awoken

By the heavy scent of rose

This lady once more comes along

The grove she shares with me

With her back against a tree

And there beyond the fire sits

Her eyes are of the deepest blue

With lips of cherry red

Her hair as black as raven’s wings

Flowing gently from her head

We sit together silently

Both staring at the flame

I know not why she comes to me

And I know not of her name

As she dropped down on her knee

Once I tried to speak with her

She placed her finger on my lips

And gently smiled at me

The lady never says a word

And she stays but for a while

I feel her presence once she’s gone

Warmed deeply by her smile

The trees they seem to bow with grace

As if she was a part of them

When this lady she departs

Held deep within their hearts

I sit a while longer

Soon to head off on my way

I know that she’ll be back again

As I see her everyday

The lady of my sacred grove

Puts my mind at ease

As she comes and sits with me

When I’m there amongst the trees


Once more my friends, thank you for continuing on this journey with me, take care

Blessed be /|\